Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Darcie Connell
Occupation: CEO & Founder of Trekity.com
Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA
Residence: Los Osos, CA
Website: Trekity.com – a website and daily newsletter for women travelers.
Short Bio: Darcie Connell is the Founder and CEO of Trekity.com – a website and daily newsletter for women travelers. Her travel tips and advice have been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Next Web, LifeHack, LearnVest, and GoAbroad.
How often do you fly: At a minimum, every three months.
How many countries have you been to: 32
How many continents have you been to: 4
Favorite American city: Austin, Texas
Favorite international city: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Least favorite country: I hate wishy washy answers so I’ll just say it… India. While there were many things and areas I loved about India, there were also a lot of things I disliked such as limited personal space, heavy traffic, poor sanitary conditions, trash everywhere, the heat, male groping, etc.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: U.S.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor in Cambodia. I’ve seen a lot of ancient ruins around the world, but Angkor takes the cake.
Favorite airline: Lufthansa for the free alcohol on international flights.
Favorite aircraft type: Anything with leg room.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Carry-on.
Favorite U.S. airport: San Luis Obispo. Walking less than 40 feet gets you through check in, security, and the gate.
Favorite international airport: Singapore Changi Airport because there’s a lot to see and do during long layovers. They even offer free Singapore city tours for layovers over five hours.
Favorite hotel: While they might not be the most luxurious, Embassy Suites is great for families and budget-minded travelers. The rooms are large and you get free happy hour (with appetizers) and breakfast.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? Out of a suitcase.
Favorite cruise line: I’m not really a cruise person. Though, I’d like to take an Alaska or Antarctica cruise.
Favorite island: Ireland.
Favorite beach: For swimming, Long Beach on the island of Koh Lanta in Thailand. For walking, Montana de Oro State Beach in California.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Ruth’s Cris. I know, I know. It’s a chain. But they have the best happy hour. Five dollar top-shelf cocktails and half off appetizers. You can have a 5-star meal and drinks for under $20.
Favorite hole in the wall: Maru Ichi Japanese Noodle House in Mountain View, CA. Anyone visiting the Silicon Valley has to stop here for a bowl of noodles that are hand made. It’s cheap, filling and delicious!
Favorite fruit: Raspberries, nectarines and pineapple.
Favorite food: Mexican and Thai.
Least favorite food: Prahok – a crushed, salted and fermented fish paste that is used in Cambodian cuisine. Imagine chewing on sand that tastes like fish.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Vodka martini with three olives.
Favorite travel movie(s): Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, The Way, Into the Wild, and Motorcycle Diaries. I wish there were more travel movies with female leads.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything with Samantha Brown, Anthony Bourdain, or David Attenborough.
Favorite travel book(s): Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a great read for women travelers. I also love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien as they capture a spirit of adventure like no other.
Right now I am reading: 11/22/63 By Stephen King. It’s about a man who travels back in time to attempt to stop the assignation of John F. Kennedy.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Everywhereist.com by Geraldine. She’s a hilarious writer who’s not afraid to tell it like it is. National Geographic for their photography. And Trekity.com. Hey, what’s wrong with shameless self-promotion? Girls gotta, eat right?
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: My baby, Trekity.com.
Five things you bring on a plane: Book, water bottle, scarf, luggage, and a bag of nuts as a snack.
What do you always seem to forget: Nothing. I have a weird visual photographic memory. I can tell you exactly where everything is in my house now. I’m not joking. Just ask my husband.
What do you like least about travel? Seeing the vast amount of poverty around the world. How people have to stand in line for half a day to get water and knowing at that same moment someone is brushing their teeth with the water running.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? I’m not a gift person so I’d probably tell them to skip it. Duty free prices aren’t that great and it’s a hassle having to juggle additional bags along with all your other luggage. But if they insisted, I’d say a bottle of Macallan so I could share it with them.
Favorite travel app(s): Weather, currency, and maps.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Miscalculating the dates on my visa in Thailand and having to explain the situation at the Malaysian border. $30 was a small price to pay for breaking the law.
Worst travel moment: Learning that someone had just peed on my backpack before picking it up at baggage claim in Chennai, India after a 30+ hour travel stint. There’s nothing more welcoming than carrying a pissed soaked backpack, in 100+ degree weather, while trying to negotiate transportation.
What’s your dream destination: Antarctica and seeing the northern lights in Alaska.
Favorite travel charity: Women for Women International. They’re a nonprofit that help women survivors of war get back on their feet.
Best travel tip: For women, always pack a scarf. They can be used in a variety of ways such as to keep you warm, as a towel, to cover questionable pillows, to cover your shoulders in a church, etc. For both men and women, if you feel a blister coming on, turn your socks inside out so the soft part is touching your skin.